In Maine, the expanded federal program in 2021 provided increased funds for 142,000 families with 229,000 children — and like the proposed state program, it was refundable, meaning people with very low incomes qualified as well. The initiative had a dramatic effect, with the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) saying that child poverty in the state was cut by almost half.
But because the expanded credit was allowed to expire, 49,000 kids in Maine and 19 million around the country missed out on the full amount they would have otherwise received, with kids of color affected in particular.
As MECEP noted, one reason the credit is so important is that the vast majority of Maine families with low incomes (88%) have used the funds for basic needs such as food, utilities, housing, clothes, and education. After the rollback of the expanded federal credit, six times as many families have experienced food insecurity and four times as many have faced problems with household expenses.